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Paranoid Park (2007)

Gabe Nevins , Daniel Liu , Gus Van Sant  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Paranoid Park + Elephant (HBO) + Gus Van Sant's Last Days
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Lauren McKinney
  • Directors: Gus Van Sant
  • Writers: Gus Van Sant, Blake Nelson
  • Producers: David Allen Cress, Neil Kopp
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B001CDFY7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paranoid Park" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An unsolved murder at Portland's infamous Paranoid Park brings detectives to a local high school, propelling a young skater into a moral dilemma where he must deal with the consequences of his own actions. As director of My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, To Die For and Elephant, Gus Van Sant has created some of the most memorable stories about youth ever committed to film. New York Press says Paranoid Park boasts "the coolest pop score since Pulp Fiction " and the film was shot by the acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love, The Quiet American). Paranoid Park also features a cast of hot newcomers including Gabe Nevins and "Gossip Girl's" Taylor Momsen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilt as Grim Reaper March 23, 2008
Alex, the narrarator and protagonist of "Paranoid Park", is not your typical romanticised culluloid teen. He is quiet, introspective, and near mute when it comes to verbalizing his feelings. He is the antithesis of a sullen, vapid adolescent skater. On the contrary, I found his parents to be vapid. When he speaks to them, what they say hardly makes an impact, because their efforts to really get through to him are ineffective. It's like carrying out an inane conversation with a stranger in which nothing is really said. Pleasantries are exchanged, but little beyond superficial subjects is broached.
The aftershock of a gruesome accident has left Alex shell-shocked. The entire film is about the way guilt haunts him like a shadowy executioner. Close-ups of his friends' faces emphasize the way he searches their expressions for the slightest hint of accusation. Alex lives in a world that offers little joy. His parents are getting divorced, and he has dislocated himself to the lonely confines of a journal. The journal is his confidante, his only witness to paralyzing emotions that stalk him during his waking hours.
Alex's character is not glorified in any way. He is awkward like most teens, he is not an expert skateboarder, and is reluctant to venture down the concrete slopes of the skate park carved under a colossal bridge. He is drawn toward Paranoid park because he seeks something resembling companionship and family. Jumping a boxcar leads to a fatal and grisly accident. Alex must live with the consequences of this mistake, which leads to intriguing questions about morality and the complexities of unintentional manslaughter. Gus Van Sant is not interested in the cogs of the judicial system, however, he is interested in the tormented machinery ticking away inside the young skater's head.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Trust Me- Read Some Real Reviews December 15, 2008
By WW85
There are 2 well known aggregate movie review sites, MetaCritic and Rotten Tomatoes that would give this film an average of 4 stars out of 5. (The NY Times review in particular is dead on, imho.) The 1 star "total bomb" reviews here are completely out of sync with accepted opinion of Paranoid Park.

Obviously, it's not for everyone. It is more for those that could appreciate Elephant or 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days than someone looking for an action skater flick. But it will go down as one of Gus Van Sant's best films in what is already a distinguished career. It's one of the most beautiful movies of recent years and the score and sound mixing is stupendous. But it takes some time and attitude adjustment to get into the flow with the film. It's well worth the time and almost demands multiple viewings.

As with Elephant, many of the young actors are novices at best. This is not a drawback at all. It only enhances the movie because the characters are so real.

Did I say it's one of the most beautiful films of recent years? Slow motion skaters, the train scene scored to a key passage from Beethoven's 9th, the shower scene, the beach, beautiful boys, beautiful girls, not so beautiful girls, losing ones virginity- all in beautiful slow motion scenes told out of sequence, often with no dialog and sometimes repeated to underscore certain points. Two signature Elliott Smith songs, played almost in their entirety, accompany two long and unedited shots of the title character to create two more memorable moments.

One of the best of 2007 and deservedly so...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GUS VAN SANT, OPUS 12 June 26, 2008
**** 2007. Based on Blake Nelson's Paranoid Park and written and directed by Gus Van Sant. 60th Anniversary Prize in Cannes in 2007. A young skateboarder kills by accident a security guard. During the next days, he will try to find a way to formulate his guilt-feelings. Another movie about American teens by one of the most important modern American directors. By mixing Super 8 and 35 mm footage, making space go to pieces with multiple cameras filming the same scene and time by adopting a non linear narration line, Gus van Sant doesn't choose the easy way to galvanize our curiosity. I thank him for that. Highly recommended.

I saw this film on a zone 2 DVD, collector edition, available at
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware! January 11, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Buyer Beware! This blu-ray was manufactured in England which uses the PAL T.V. system which is not compatible with the NTSC system we have here in the U.S. The movie is an exceptional blu-ray presentation, but the extra features were not done in high def therefore they are the PAL system and cannot be viewed on our T.V. sets. I will say this, even though Amazon was not aware of this they were willing to let me return the DVD for a full refund. Since I love the film and would not watch the bonus features that much (who does anyway) I am going to keep this high quality disc.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paranoid Indeed April 17, 2008
By billy
Paranoid Park is Gus Van Sant's twelfth feature film, and the third in his recent films about disaffected youth. Adapted from a novel by Portland writer Blake Nelson and obviously inspired by Crime and Punishment, Paranoid Park follows the life Alex, a local skate punk who gets tangled up in a grisly accident.

The thin plot has Alex, played by Gabe Nevins, attracted to Paranoid Park, a skate park that was built illegally by punks, skaters, and other riff raff. Alex goes there one night alone, and is essentially picked up by some shady characters. Without spoiling anything, he does something terrible and spends the rest of the movie trying to cope, mainly by writing out what happened in a letter to one of his friends. Paranoid Park represents a place where Alex feels that he can belong. He expresses how much he's attracted to the type of people who skate there, and he yearns to belong to their subculture, yet he never manages to find his place.

His writing literally drives the plot, as what he's writing down in his letter is what we experience as an audience. The focus of Paranoid Park is decidedly insular. Built around a series of disorienting techniques like dialogue overlaid with music, one sided dialogues where the other person is either obscured or off camera all together, long takes of Alex walking alone with a musical backdrop, and close-ups of Alex's blank stare, Alex's inner life is shown as a sort of dreamy and hazy numbness. His disaffection and guilt is not really expressed very effectively even in his diary, and the visual techniques of the film serve as one of the only windows in to his mind set.

Just like Elephant and Last Days, Van Sant is concerned with the seemingly existential existence of modern young people.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars How close have you come to killing somebody?
I have enjoyed many of Gus van Sant’s films including “Drugstore Cowboy”, “Milk” and the simultaneously mesmerizing and horrifying “Elephant”. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Randal Rauser
3.0 out of 5 stars Paranoid Park
The novel by blake Nelson is much more interesing and thrilling than Gus van Stant's film. The latter does not succeed in conveying the protagonist's moral turmoil and the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Edgar Schwarz
3.0 out of 5 stars had potential but...
Paranoid Park is a pretty boring movie overall. What definitely had potential in the concept quickly deteriorated when it was soon realized that the writers are going for an... Read more
Published on February 23, 2012 by B. E Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Paranoid Park
*What if something so terrible happens that you can't tell anyone? Yet it's too much of a burden to keep to yourself? Read more
Published on January 7, 2012 by Athena R. Schaffer
4.0 out of 5 stars My own piece
The other reviews on this pretty well say it all, I just enjoyed this film so much I had to write one myself, to get it out there I guess. Read more
Published on May 15, 2011 by hated and proud
4.0 out of 5 stars Grim
What I like most about this movie is the realistic portrayal of a sullen teenager. You notice firsthand his lack of writing skill as he narrates a letter describing his horrific... Read more
Published on March 22, 2011 by Angela S.
1.0 out of 5 stars Coulda, woulda, shoulda but wasn't.
This was a complete waste of time. The narrative and acting was well beyond below level and if I could give this film negative stars I would. Read more
Published on March 20, 2011 by Nemset
5.0 out of 5 stars Stark examination of a teen wrapped up in a harrowing situation
This is Van Sant at his best. Paranoid Park is one of the director's more precise films, showing he is a master manipulator of narrative through images. Read more
Published on September 30, 2010 by Slowcloud
4.0 out of 5 stars Based on the story of a young skateboarder...
Oh, how I celebrated when Gus Van Sant's middlebrow period ended! I not only started paying money to see his films in theaters, but actually bought the DVDs. Read more
Published on September 10, 2010 by Mark Handel
5.0 out of 5 stars great buy
love the movie and had trouble finding it in a store....found it here no problem!!!
Published on April 25, 2010 by Fallyn A. Stickles
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